The best leaders love growth – they want to grow their organizations, their people and their influence. One of the keys that enables this growth is the leader’s ability to create capacity.
How do leaders increase their personal and organizational capacity? Here’s a partial list…
Increase efficiency – Find ways to do what you’re currently doing better. Eliminate steps, minimize approvals and create ways to do more with less. You may want to map your key processes looking for efficiencies along the way.
Increase effectiveness – Be careful not to confuse efficiency with effectiveness; they are fundamentally different. Efficiency is concerned with speed, quality and cost; while effectiveness answers a different question: What should we be doing in the first place? Work on the right things.
Get smarter – This shows up in many ways. It contributes to the two previous ideas directly. Learn from your successes and your failures. Always reserve the right to get smarter. When you do, act on what you’ve learned.
Learn from others – Whatever you’re trying to do, chances are extremely high that, not only has someone done if before, there are probably people and organizations that excel at whatever you’re facing. Don’t let your ego and pride sabotage your success.
Eliminate activities – When we stop doing activities with little or diminished value, we increase our personal and organizational capacity. I wrote a post on this last week: Today’s Challenge: What Should I STOP Doing?
Delegate responsibilities – Leaders who delegate well increase their personal capacity by eliminating activities from their own to do list. Delegation can also help other people grow. As they take on more work, they will be faced with the challenge of expanding their own capacity.
Utilize people outside your organization – This one is tricky. In our current economic reality, this may not always be an option. However, it is a tremendous strategy when you can find the resources. You don’t always try to add full time people to support a project or fulfill a request. I’ll write more about that in the future.
Leaders who demonstrate the ability to expand their personal and organizational capacity are the men and women who tend to get more responsibility… and recognition… and opportunity… and rewards.[GLS_Shield]
I’m enjoying reading these blogs. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us!
Thanks Cary! I appreciate your feedback.
Great post. If you were to put them in order, I’d say increase effectiveness first. It seems many small organizations focus on increasing efficiency when they really need to take a step back and think about why they’re there.